[private] Who & Where From: Nora Argucia, 44, comes from La Ceiba, but she has spent the last 23 years on Utila. Nora, who has been running a restaurant-bar for the past three years, likes it here: “I feel free here. I can go anywhere here, unafraid,” says Nora about her adopted island. A mother of four, Nora’s children live all around the world. She has a son in Norway, another in Canada, a daughter in Canada and still another son in La Ceiba. In an alley off a paved walkway that is just six foot wide sits a wooden structure. It’s la Gaviota, a local restaurant and bar hangout for Utilans. La Gaviota – the Seagal Bar and Restaurant on the edge of Camponacho – Camponado Sur or Barrio El Swampo. Any way you’d like to call it, it is the sister neighborhood to Camponado.
What & Why: The five by five meter space is the restaurant. Crowded with tables, chairs and colored with ornaments. Most of the decorations Nora picked up while beachcombing Utila’s shores. Her restaurant is decorated with seashells on a string, painted coconuts, hanging teddy bears, stuffed manatee doll. Her dining room has no real walls but rather screens made out of bamboo which Nora found on Utila’s beach. She cut the bamboo into pieces and screwed them together to separate her place from the walkway. “I can fix everything: electrical, carpentry,” describes Nora about herself. “It’s an ordinary bar, but it recycles the trash of the sea.”
In Conclusion: Nora is a go-getter. She focuses in self improvement and has taken courses in karate, massage, acupressure, carpentry. “I am a creative person. I see something and I want to paint it. I paint things to get over them psychologically,” says Nora, pointing to a painting on the door of a court scene, in which she sits as a witness. The bar is framed by a painting of a blue plane and reminds Nora of her son going off to Norway. “If you paint something you wish for, it will become a reality. Its true,” says Nora. Definitely eccentric, eclectic and with plenty of personality, “La Gaviota” attracts a trickle of barrio locals, tourists, and Nora’s aficionados. There are metal turtles, real crab shells, plastic dolls. “Its like a beachcombing experience while visiting a bar,” says Nora, full of energy, with red hair and sporting a pair of white, plastic glasses. [/private]